It's amazing how hopeful I feel with a little sunshine in my brain. I thought I'd touch on a few random things that have been happening and that I've been thinking about:
- Our immigration fingerprinting went well. We got there right before closing on Friday and barely got them done before Pat was late for work, and before their weekly report was sent off. I kept telling the girls as we were driving to the office that we were going to get one more step done in getting our baby brother home. The office told us it should take about two weeks to get our clearance letter back. There are four pieces to the puzzle that must be completed before you can get the referral of your child. Number One is a completed homestudy. That part is done for us and already mailed to Acres of Hope. Number two is the clearance letter from INS and we hope to have that soon! Number three is the completed package of documents called your dossier that needs to be sent to Acres of Hope. We have some minor details to finish on that and we still need Pat's birth certificate, then that will be in the mail. The final step is Acres of Hope identifying a child for our family and letting us know. Once we accept a referral the adoption process begins in Liberia. I'm really hoping that we will have a referral before the summer. I can't imagine seeing his face in a photograph. : )
- One of the things that has been keeping me busy is helping out with the Adoption Ministry for our church. I'm really enjoying that. It is a new and growing ministry, so it is exciting to see adoptive families coming together to get to know each other. I went to coffee the other day with the lady who began the ministry and one of the highlights of our conversation for me was having her share how special the moment was for her when she got the referral of her daughter. She said that she started crying when the phone rang and didn't stop during the whole conversation. When she saw her picture, she fell instantly in love. I am so longing for that moment.
- I have been listening to a CD series about bonding and attaching to adopted toddlers. There is a lot of scary information, but a lot of hopeful information, too, and some great practical advice that I'm excited to try when our son gets home.
- A few people have asked me what we plan to do about names. We really haven't talked about it. I read on the yahoo group that the children in the orphanage really look forward to getting their new name. It is a special part of the process for them. I guess we are just waiting to see how old our son is and what his given name already is and how his picture makes us feel.
- For her birthday, Karissa got a new bike and Amy is so excited to ride Sissy's old bike. It was so cute to hear Amy say, "And Mommy, my bike is for OUR BABY BROTHER!" I could just picture the three of them riding their bikes together, our little boy pedaling like crazy on the little hotwheels trike that has been a family tradition. There is something about those little hotwheels type bikes that are so cute to me. I love how fast their little legs can get going on those things. I was sad to see Amy outgrow it, and now I know my little boy will be riding it someday soon.
- I am so interested to see the age of the little one God has planned for us. My heart longs for him to be a baby or a toddler, but Pat is hoping for a preschooler. We both want him to be younger than Amy who turns four in April. As much as I want him to be my baby boy, I am so glad that I don't do the choosing. I completely trust God to select the right little boy to join our family. I was telling my mom that I have given my hopes to God, but I do not want to tell him what to do. I would never want the responsibility for running my own life. It will be so wonderful to see what God has in store.
"Who are you little one? I know you are out there. I know God can see you. I can't wait until I can."